The USMC Tradition Continues

The USMC Tradition Continues

Lieutenant Col. Jason L. Nickerl, Deputy Director of Recruiting, Western Recruiting Region, was honored at his retirement ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, May 20. His retirement was bittersweet because as he leaves the Corps, he watched his son graduate recruit training and fill his footsteps.

Periodically, a few of us “old Marines” from the Los Angeles area will drive down to MCRD, San Diego to witness a Friday graduation. We have been doing this 2 or 3 times a year for a while. Our main goal has been to witness our graduating Marines and watch the last time their Drill Instructors dismiss their platoons… their families will rush to hug, kiss and greet their young Marine. We try and find the Marines whose families could not make the trip out to be part of the graduation ceremonies and will go out and congratulate them… we try and make their day just as special. A few weeks ago, on our journey, we were part of a very special day for the family of Lt. Col Nickeri… This gave me goosebumps!

Howard Hada
Sea Going

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Richard E Jenkins

    I was with Howard Hada on that Friday, like he said about the goose bumps I felt it too. We both enjoy our day at MCRDSD brings back great memories of our youth. LCpl Richard E Jenkins July 1959 – June 1965 1878xxx

  • David Charbonneau

    Congratulations to USMC PFC Nickerl and a hearty snap salute to you Lt Col. Nickerl for your service & retirement. Wonderful you had the opportunity to enjoy those”goosebumps”. Shaking the hand of my SDI at MCRD Parris Island after our Plt 353 graduation in 1967 and a recent visit in 2015 for the ceremony gave me those same “proud goosebumps”. Semper Fi Marines, from a SGT of Marines.

  • v

    Congratulations Marines! I salute you both. Semper Fi.. Platoon 132, MCRD S.D. 1959.

  • Gary Ray

    I would be remiss if I missed this opportunity to salute the new graduates and to those who came before… Semper Fi from an old Marine, Platoon 382, MCRD San Diego 1958.

  • Sgt. Donald Drum 1968 – 1972

    Congratulations to both Father and Son. Semper Fidelis.

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